July 16th-24th: Cycling Diet Continued, Hugging Humid Huron, and More Ontario Farmland.

July 20th marked the end of my four pannier setup, and the beginning of my first major detour since Alberta. My traversal of The Great Lakes continues to produce impressive coastline views and unexpected vast farmland. And while I can’t say I expected to look north and see the USA during this trip, I have done just that.

During a necessary rest day on Monday, I met a couple more cyclists camping at Velorution bike shop. Mike from Edmonton, Eastbound across Canada via Manitoulin like me but at a slower pace. Ethan from Connecticut, Eastbound on a relatively short circle tour starting and ending at home. Pretty neat to share routines and compare gear!

So I set out early Tuesday, aiming for a long day with an eye on Southern Ontario. For the third time since entering Ontario, I was surrounded by acres of farmland. At this point I’m convinced Ontario should be classified as a prairie province.

Oh hay there.

 

East of the Sault, the Lake Huron North Channel trail weaves its way around the Trans Canada Highway, and the two are often parallel. So I alternated, trying to stay close to the lake and on pavement.

Found another section of the Trans Canada Trail!
Evidence that there is a river in Blind River!
Blind River also has a beach. Great spot for second lunch.

 

In Serpent River I met Melanie, who’d also camped at Velorution Sunday night.

We camped together and rode through Espanola to Manitoulin Island, enjoying a dip in a small lake on the way to neutralize the humidity. We agreed being soaked in lake water was much preferred over our own sweat.

A perk of having a cycling partner: action shots are much easier.
Fresh water, fresh clothes, and a fresh grin!

 

We explored Little Current a bit, admiring the rotating bridge before splitting as I pushed on towards the South Baymouth ferry terminal.

It actually rotates to allow ships through – a rare sight these days!

 

I camped on a patch of grass beside the highway, poised for a super Thursday. And a super Thursday it was, probably my most productive day all trip.

I had about 20km of riding, arriving early enough for the 9:10am sailing to cook quinoa and make wraps for lunch.

Trying to wrap it up before boarding time.
Quite impressed by the mural featured on the ferry.
Found a pun! Get it… BOATique?
Taking this photo, I felt like captain of the ship for a moment.

 

The nearly two hour ferry ride provided an opportunity to charge up my powerbanks, do some writing and shopping, and re-organize my gear in preparation to mail home both front panniers.

First stop on arrival in Tobermory was the post office. One empty front pannier and another full mostly from clothes weighed in at ten pounds. I suppose this cycling diet is working – I’ve never heard of a diet shedding ten pounds in one day!

Hope I can pedal fast enough to not need my long underwear!

Wasting no time, I headed to Fathom Five National Marine Park, enjoying a wrap and the Burnt Point Loop hike with wide open Huron views.

The two parks share a visitor centre, since they’re close neighbours.
Cute little inlet – Burnt Point Loop, Fathom Five National Marine Park.
Open view of flowerpot island and others – Burnt Point Loop, Fathom Five National Marine Park.

 

I then progressed to Bruce Peninsula National Park, hiking to the Grotto, a huge cave and a main attraction of the area.

Second national park of the day.
Popular swimming spot just before the Grotto. I couldn’t help but join in.
View of the deep, dark cave.
Close up view of the deep, dark cave.
View from inside the deep, dark cave.
Climbing over rocks on the hike back from the Grotto.

 

All hiked out, I pedalled through some nice quiet side roads along the Bruce Peninsula’s west coast, having some photography fun inspired by a stunning sunset before finding a great little park to camp at in Pike Bay.




Making breakfast in the park.
Dishes and quasi-laundry in the lake.

 

Friday I continued hugging the Huron coast, enjoying quite a scenic stretch around Sauble Beach and finding a national historic site.

Throughout my life I’ve dreamt of seeing an English Premier League match. Maybe now’s my chance?

 

Bike path separated from the road, well paved, and right along the coast. A cyclist’s dream!



A big lighthouse!

 

The instant I drifted away from the coast, I was back in farmland, mostly corn fields.

All the puns I can think of are too corny.
Smores donut, a nice boost while waiting out the rain a bit in Kettle Point. Yes, it did taste as good as it looks.
A glimpse of Lake St. Clair approaching Windsor. Yes, those are my pants sprawled over my tarp to dry while cycling, which did work quite well.
Grocery fill in Windsor. Could have used some of these during university…

 

Those familiar with southern Ontario’s geography are no doubt wondering what carried me on this huge detour down to Windsor.

Trip to Point Pelee National Park with The Windsor Relatives.

 

It was a combination of having relatives in Windsor, wanting to see the most southern point in mainland Canada, and other relatives’ schedules lining up such that I had time to circle Southern Ontario. Essentially I was faced with two options: continue through and miss most relatives I was hoping to visit, or take my time and see them all (hopefully!) while doing more sightseeing along the way.

I was the southern most person in mainland Canada for a few seconds. Onward and upward from here!
Very cool to be surrounded by Lake Erie waters almost 360 degrees.

 

So after arriving at their home on Sunday, I was rewarded with a rest day: A Point Pelee afternoon and exploring Windsor with Cousin Once Removed Maureen, Husband Tony, and Second Cousin Courtney. I can also say I’ve seen Detroit, since it’s right across the Detroit River. Next up, stops in London, Hamilton, Toronto, Picton, and Ottawa. The great thing about relatives is the further you reach along the family tree, the more people you find!

The Crew – Peace Fountain background, the world’s only international floating fountain.
Peering across the border. Looks like the USA has some tall buildings.
Sunset over Detroit.

Strava:

July 18 – the Sault to Serpent River.
July 19 – Serpent River to Manitowaning.
July 20 – Manitowaning to Pike Bay.
July 21 – Pike Bay to Goderich.
July 22 – Goderich to Dresden.
July 23 – Dresden to Windsor.

 

6 thoughts on “July 16th-24th: Cycling Diet Continued, Hugging Humid Huron, and More Ontario Farmland.

  1. Hi Cameron!!
    Well, you have met some cool people, found some great routes especially the bike path, beautiful scenery, and developed your writing skills!
    Enjoying it all, and am impressed by your mileage. You must have bonded with your bike seat!
    love Anthea

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  2. You are just chugging along Cameron! Can’t believe the distances you are cycling daily now; they’re huge! And Ontario does seem never-ending, doesn’t it? We hear you’ll be in Toronto on the weekend; enjoy! Safe trails, love Heather xo

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  3. I really loved the Ontario pictures, WOW it looks like a beautiful province, some pictures I thought looked like Hawaii!….You sure are making headway, before you know it you will be in Montreal, I know you have been really excited about that. Cheers 🤗🤗Xoxo

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  4. Amazing that you have covered such a huge distance since Vancouver! Interesting to see the Ontario photos – I never realized how much farmland there is in Ontario.

    Like

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